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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New polling shows Republican leads in Arkansas, but in tossup range for U.S. Senate

Posted By on Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 10:55 AM

click to enlarge CLOSE BUT LEANING R: Latest numbers in U.S. Senate race.
  • CLOSE BUT LEANING R: Latest numbers in U.S. Senate race.

Public Policy Polling
has released its recent sounding of Arkansas voters and the Democratic outfit's results don't differ much from other recent reports: Trending Republican.

U.S. Senate

Republican Tom Cotton leads Democrat Mark Pryor 41-39, with 4 to Green Party's Mark Swaney and 3 to Libertarian Party's Nathan LaFrance. That leaves 14 percent undecided. The margin is within the 3 percent margin of error of a sample of 1,066 Arkansas voters, a mix of telephone and internet samples.


Republican Asa Hutchinson leads Democrat Mike Ross 43-38, with 12 percent undecided. Green Joshua Drake had 4 and Libertarian Frank Gilbert 3.

Lt. Gov.

Tim Griffin (R) 41-32 over John Burkhalter (D)

Secretary of state

Incumbent Mark Martin (R) 39-33 over Susan Inman (D). (Have voters begun to discover that the cipher of an incompetent in that office is NOT the race car driver?)

Attorney general

Leslie Rutledge (R) over Nate Steel (D), 38-32.


Andrea Lea (R) over Regina Stewart Hampton (D) 35-31.


Dennis Milligan (R) over Karen Garcia (D) 36-31.

Land Commissioner

John Thurston (R) over Democrat Mark Robertson 40-29 (with 10 for Libertarian Elvis Presley).

Lots of undecided across the map, but the Democrats start behind in every case. And to the extent the undecided are political "independents," they have tended to split Republican in most polling. In the Senate race, for example, the undecided component was made up of more Romney voters than Obama voters in 2012. Also interesting that undecided in this race heavily trend female, which could be good for a Democratic candidate. The same is true in the race for governor where Hutchinson inexplicably has a small lead among women.

There is this: The issues favor Democratic candidates.

The survey showed 63-29 support for the minimum wage ballot initiative, which all Democrats support and which all Republicans oppose. It's not on the ballot yet, however.

The survey showed 52-40 support for a statewide alcohol sales proposal that may make the ballot. I think you'll find Democrats more openly in favor of this than Republicans (not that some GOP Baptists won't take a drink.)

Respondents hate Barack Obama, love Mike Beebe, are split 40-40 favorable/unfavorable on Tom Cotton, 35-32 on Mike Ross, 40-38 on Asa Hutchinson. Mark Pryor's job performance rating was an under water 34-51.

Generically, respondents favored Republicans over Democrats 46-37 in their legislative districts with 17 percent unsure.

To measure these results, consider that respondents said they voted 54-37 for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama in 2012, with 9 percent saying they voted for someone else or were unable to remember. Obama got exactly 37 percent in the election. Romney got almost 60, some of whom apparently don't like to admit it.

Here's the full rundown. A voter of my acquaintance swears she took the PPP poll and that it included a question matching Mike Beebe against John Boozman in a Senate race. That question doesn't appear here.

UPDATE: Tom Jensen of PPP tells me that there's a second part of the poll on presidential issues, such as a speculative Hillary v. Huck matchup, coming tomorrow. It will include the Beebe v. Boozman question.

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